Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway : Soldered Alchemy

By on Thursday, July 02, 2015 71 Comments

Many jewelry makers avoid using heat and rely on cold connection techniques to join together different components.  But the ability to use a hot connection method like soldering would greatly increase design possibilities.  Soft soldering, which uses just a soldering iron, does not involve an expensive outlay of equipment and is a wonderful way to get started. Hard soldering for joining precious metals involves gas tanks and torches because of the higher temperatures required.



I recently received a new book  Soldered Alchemy: 24 Jewelry Projects Using New Soft-Solder Techniques which showcases just how creative soft soldering with a soldering iron can be (no torch work).  The book is by Laura Beth Love who has years of experience starting with her broken china jewelry collection.  It is also available from Interweave.



She covers all the essentials in the beginning of the book including the soldering equipment and supplies you need. What she didn't do though was to suggest specific models of soldering irons - she says just to get high quality ones which is not particularly useful for newbies who might not know the difference between a good soldering iron and one that is not.

The important safety tips are also in this section as well as the different patinas she uses.   She recommends using a rheostat to help adjust the temperature of the soldering iron especially for decorative work. Many of the 24 projects have drops of solder as decorative balls as shown in this beginner project below.


The soft soldering technique is most often associated with that used for stained glass work.  Thus this author covers how to use copper foil to surround a focal and to "tin" (cover with solder) it.  


But what makes her book outstanding is how she marries soft soldering with wire work.  As you can see from the instruction page for the china shard pendant shown above, she bridges the gaps between the extra wire work with solder.  The result resembles a metal work piece without the hassle! Absolutely clever!


As the lead free solder used is silver in color, it can be a stark contrast with copper work.  So the author also demonstrates how she uses copper patina to cover the silvery portion to match the rest of the piece as shown in the Copper Waves bracelet below.  She also uses black patina.


The following are some of my favorite projects from the book. The author does say that bridging the gaps between the wires with molten solder takes practice.  It also helps not to have too wide a gap. However, the Ankh pendant below is testament of how it can indeed be done with wider spaces.





A wonderful book to get started into soft soldering with tons of inspiration, one I recommend.   This book now joins my list of favorites (see rightmost sidebar).

Giveaway

If you'd like to win a copy of Soldered Alchemy, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is international.
If the winner has a non-post box US address, the prize will be a physical book.  Otherwise it will be an eBook.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Thursday, July 9, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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71 comments:

  1. I'd love to pick up some new soft solder techniques. I've been working with the basics for 13+ years, it's time to learn some new tricks!

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  2. Dear Pearl,

    I love your persistence with giveaways. I also love giveaways. I want to learn more about soldering and since I finally have a work bench to work at, it is past time to begin. I and learning about cold connections now, but I would be remiss if I didn't move on to soldering also. That being said, please enter me to win this giveaway, and be assured I will give many shout outs about this opportunity.

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  3. Beautiful artwork. I would love a copy of Soldered Alchemy.

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  4. What fascinating looking book Pearl! Your review is very detailed and helped explain a lot to me.
    Thanks!
    Mona

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  5. this looks like an amazing book. I tried soft soldering for the first time this past weekend and it was definitely trial and error . esp the error part. I would love to win this book .
    i am a follower of your blog for a few years now and you constantly inspire me to try new techniques , thank you for a well written and informative blog.
    deb 4 tin at g mail dot com

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  6. Well isn't this just perfect timing!

    Having just turned out those 3 bracelets with this technique I'm really interested in learning more about it. I could probably even learn the right way to do it!! :0)

    Chuck my name in there Pearl and I'll give it a whirl.

    Your excellent review has given me the look inside of this book that I have been wondering about. Now that I can see what is actually offered by Laura - I know I'll be adding this to my collection either way!

    Thanks Pearl!!!!

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  7. I need this. My kids won't let me play with a torch (I'm 75 years old) but I've used a soldering iron before and think one will work for me again.

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  8. I follow Laura beth's work and I find it very interesting but I never thought such filling up was possible with solder and soldering iron before. Thsi opens up many more possibilities. Thanks for the chance to win it

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  9. I so, so, so need this book. I am learning how to solder and this would help me tremendously. Thank you so much for the giveaway.

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  10. OMGosh! I need this book! Being new to metalsmithing, I need all the help I can get to please my friends, family, and potential clients. The work shown in the book review for 'Soldered Alchemy' is awesome… Please, please, please…pick me for this wonderful giveaway!

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    Replies
    1. I forgot! My contact email is catatac@suddenlink.net.

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  11. This looks like great fun! Thanks Pearl
    Carol
    Designingit.etsy.com

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  12. These are beautiful pieces and I would love to learn more about this kind of jewellery making! I am a subscriber and blog follower, and can be contacted at retro-grrl@hotmail.com should I be lucky enough to win-fingers n toes crossed!

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  13. The book seems to be very well written and the pictures are stunning! I would LOVE to win a copy of this book. Thanks so much for the offer of this giveaway!!

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  14. This would be great. I already know how to solder, I just didn't think I could use it in jewelry. Would love this book.

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  15. I tweeted about your post, the book and giveaway.
    https://twitter.com/kayzkreationz/status/616612721916710912

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  16. I love the wire work soldering. Thank you for introducing this book. Follow, tweet, Facebook share, g+ and pinned.

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  17. Ahhh. Soldering is one technique I wish I had learned earlier on. Soft soldering sounds like the best way to start

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  18. I would l8ve to give this a try....soldering is on my bucket list. Betty Strait

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  19. I would love to learn how to solder !

    I am a blog subscriber.

    voltzia@gmail.com

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  20. Looks like a wonderful book to add to my collection. I'll be tweeting and sharing on facebook.

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  21. I just took a jewelry soldering class and am very excited to use my knowledge. I picked up the equipment and supplies. This book would be awesome!

    carleeo@cableone.net

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  22. This could very well be the way I get into soldering....have been very hesitant to start.

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  23. I'd love to learn to solder. This might be a good way to start.

    langerfeld@twc.com

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  24. Would love to win this book and expand my wire sculpture techniques. Thanks for the opportunity, Pearl.
    I'm a blog subscriber.

    donnacorn@juno.com

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  25. I'm a blog subscriber and follower and still have my stained glass supplies - I can do this - with help from the book.

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  26. Pearl, I am eager to want to try this to expand my jewelry making, giving and selling abilities! I shared publicly on my google+, Facebook, Julia Reagan and Trujewel, and Twitter, AUJEWEL
    Thanks for your hard work for your followers and subscribers!!

    via Google+

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  27. Beautiful use of the solder. I thought I had seen everything!

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  28. This is exactly what I need to get me started in soldering!

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  29. Hey Pearl,

    Thanks for the chance to win this book - the technique looks really interesting.

    Cheers

    victoria_farrell at hotmail dot com

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  30. Oh, I have always wanted to learn soldering. Sounds like a fantastic book. Thansk for the chance to win.

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  31. I love to solder and this book looks like it has so many great ideas and unusual techniques. Thanks for the chance to win this awesome looking book.

    I am also a blog subscriber.

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  32. Hi Pearl, I'm a blog follower and your blog is one of my most favorite. I would love to win this book. I have always wanted to learn to solder! Thank you for always hosting such wonderful giveaways!
    Debra Schwartz msd.katz@hotmail.com

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  33. Shared on FB!
    Debra Schwartz :)

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  34. Looks like a great book!
    Thanks
    Alikat2004 on Ravelry.com

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  35. I have been very curious about this technique for a long time! This sounds like the book I need! Pick me! Pick me!

    Gail
    Gspeers@sympatico.ca

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  36. Priscilla LuchettiJuly 3, 2015 at 12:51 AM

    I would love to win this book! I bought a soldering iron and lead free solder a few years ago fully intending to learn how to make jewelry with it. What a great opportunity to finally learn!

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  37. I'm always interested in learning new techniques. This looks like a very handy book, and tons of inspiration is always helpful.
    kaysuet@hotmail.com

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  38. I am a blog subscriber.
    kaysuet@hotmail.com

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  39. I am so excited to see this and would love to win this book. I have had a desire to try this for sometime and this win would spur me on to do it. Have been collecting broken potter and China just for this purpose but I need great instructions to master it. Thanks for the chance to win. My email is peggywhiz@cableone.net

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  40. I've been practicing my soldering techniques but I could always use some new and improved help!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  41. I am a blog follower

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  42. Wow, looks great! If I'm lucky enough to win, My blog is http:/artfuldreamer dot blogspot dot com

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  43. I have always wanted to learn how to solder, and this offers so many creative ideas! Thank you. creations@collyar.net

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  44. I would love to win this book!

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  45. I would love to win this! I have been trying soldering with varying degrees of success, and this book sounds like the solution! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

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  46. Hi Pearl,

    This is another fabulous post about a book that I have been trying to get my hands on a copy of. Thank you for the honest review of it and for the giveaway of this book.

    I have spread the love on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.

    Here is the link to my Pinterest post. Thought you might like to see it.

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/239113061442951019/

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  47. I am a newbie to jewellery making and need all the help I can get! ;)

    email@decoratenow.com.au

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  48. Great description on your book review! Thanks for all of the information. I do some soldering with inconsistent results and would love to win this book to help build my skills.
    I am a blog subscriber.
    Shout outs to pinterest, twitter and facebook

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  49. I have a soldering iron but have never used it. I've been waiting for the right book to come along, that will explain it's uses to me. This giveaway is perfect for me!

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  50. I' m sure that if my husband can solder with a soldering iron then I can too. This book looks a brilliant way to prove my theory - or not!!!
    shw_samuel@sky.com

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  51. I have been thinking about going to my next level as jewelry maker and what could be my call when I read this blog today I knew that soft soldering was what i needed to learn ! I am a fan of your blog and I look forward to winning this book ... Thank You michele_valensi@yahoo.com

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  52. I would love a copy.Ican do shout outs too. Sharilynn67@msn.com

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  53. Would love to win this...thanks for the opportunity!

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  54. This book sounds like it's right up my alley,I already have the tools from doing stained glass.

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  55. Looks like a great book! I'm a blog subscriber (through Bloglovin) and a facebook follower.

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  56. Looks like a great book! I'm a blog subscriber (through Bloglovin) and a facebook follower.

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  57. Mary A. Poole. Nanamet2010@hotmail. ComJuly 6, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    I would love to win this book. I did soldering years ago but not with jewelry.

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  58. Mary Aletha PooleJuly 6, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    Also shared on FBk, Nanamet2010@hotmail.com

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  59. Sounds like a great book! I would love to enter for a chance to win it

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  60. I follow your blog on Bloglovin' as Shaiha

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  61. I follow your FB page as Shaiha Williams

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  62. I shared on FB

    https://www.facebook.com/sShaiha/posts/10206977209138197

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  63. I am also a blog follower. I really would love to win this wonderful book!

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  64. This sounds like a marvelous book. I want to add soldering to my knowledge. Thank you for a chance to win.

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  65. Gah -- I don't have time to read my Feedly feeds for a week and I almost miss a giveaway for a book on my wishlist?! Hope I'm not too late (too tired to try and figure out the time in North America right now) as I'd love a chance to win a copy.

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    Replies
    1. You just made it by about 1.5 hours!!

      Delete
  66. Looks fantastic! Would love to win! =)

    ReplyDelete

 

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